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NIH Record

NIDA, Partners Bestow Awards for Accuracy

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, with its partners the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently sponsored the second annual Prism Awards to honor scientific accuracy in the entertainment world.

Entertainment industry leaders and more than 50 television and movie programs were recognized for their outstanding efforts to portray accurately the science of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse and addiction. Prism Awards were presented in the categories of feature films, five television categories, and community service activities.

Dr. Alan Leshner (l), NIDA director, attends Prism Awards event in Hollywood, joined by feature film winner Vondie Curtis-Hall (c), writer/director of Gridlock'd, and NIDA associate director Dr. Timothy Condon.

According to NIDA director Dr. Alan I. Leshner, "These awards recognize the vital role the entertainment industry can play in communicating the reality of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse and addiction to the general public, particularly to children and adolescents.

"Various media often get criticized for 'glamorizing' these substances, but the Prism Awards give us an opportunity to honor those people in the field who have done an outstanding job of portraying drug abuse and addiction accurately," he said.

Some of the outstanding productions recognized at the Prism Awards ceremony included:

The "No Smoking" episode of Hang Time that focused on nicotine addiction;

The Accident, A Moment of Truth Movie, featuring underage drinking and its tragic consequences;

"March Against Drugs," an ABC month-long comprehensive anti-drug initiative across all programming areas;

Gridlock'd, a film that offers a satirical look at the difficulties encountered by a pair of heroin addicts who decide to get straight and enter treatment and recovery programs.

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